The idea of the Enable Makeathon emerged from a collaboration between the Innovation Initiative and the Physical Rehabilitation Programme at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The ICRC supports a large number of persons with disabilities across the world and has active programmes in more than 40 countries. Most of these people – men, women as well as and most unfortunately, thousands of children – are in rural settings and from less privileged communities. The ICRC’s support and assistance, helps many of them cope with their daily challenges and live a life of dignity. The Enable Makeathon, however, is a unique project as it brings ideas, designs and technologies together on one platform and creates products that are eventually scaled up for business and would be manufactured for use across the globe. This is done through a collaboration between humanitarians, start-ups, engineers, academics, and businesses, all committed to finding disability solutions.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is an impartial, neutral and independent organization ensuring humanitarian protection and assistance to people adversely affected by situations of humanitarian concern. Established in 1863 and based in Geneva, Switzerland, the ICRC employs some 14,500 people in more than 80 countries. The ICRC provides physical rehabilitation services worldwide. Since 1979 millions of people in more than 48 countries have benefited from physical rehabilitation services, such as physiotherapy, the provision of over 1.4 million assistive devices and their repair and maintenance. In addition to developing our own prosthetics technology and acquiring a high level of expertise, we attach great importance to maintaining support for long term physical rehabilitation projects and initiatives.
ARTILAB is an Assistive and Rehabilitation Technologies Innovations incubator headquartered in Bangalore. Set up in 2017, ARTILAB focuses on the WHO Priority Assistive Products List, working with startups to bring such solutions to the market. It also focuses on providing infrastructure and healthcare for the challenged, to provision equal or level field in access to resources. In addition to scouting for and incubating such startups, ARTILAB will run regular education programs and workshops, host events and hackathons, organise resources, and drive awareness to promote the use of technology and design for the disability sector. ARTILAB has successfully run the pilot Enable Makeathon programme with the ICRC in 2015-16 and is currently supporting the startups from that programme.